SUNY Oneonta Professor of English and English Department Chair Daniel Payne has been appointed to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.
The State University of New York Board of Trustees approved the appointments of 15 faculty to the Distinguished Faculty Rank in April.
“The SUNY faculty members receiving these distinguished ranks have achieved immeasurable success within their fields and on their respective campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “These individuals have set the bar for their peers, and work closely with students to help them find their calling inside and outside of the classroom. It is their excellence that drives SUNY forward.”
The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national and/or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field. This distinction is attained through extraordinary contributions to, and impact on, the candidate’s field of study, often evidenced by significant research and/or creative activity. Moreover, the candidate should be a role model for students and other faculty and their work must be of such character that it has the potential to elevate the standards of scholarship or creative activity of colleagues both within and beyond their academic fields. To be eligible for nomination, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, and must have at least one year of full-time service at the nominating institution.
Payne has proven to be a truly exceptional instructor in both English and the environmental humanities since his arrival at SUNY Oneonta in 2001. He has routinely engaged with his students outside the classroom, advising independent study students (45 since 2001) and arranging innovative field experiences. His teaching accolades include the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2012), the SUNY Oneonta Inter-Greek Council Award for Outstanding Faculty (2011) and the SUNY Oneonta Outstanding Advisor and Mentor Award (2007).
Payne's excellence in teaching and mentorship is fed by his internationally recognized scholarship in the area of environmental literature, expertise he has used to encourage SUNY Oneonta to incorporate sustainability throughout its curricula and as a part of its identity. In addition to developing interdisciplinary courses in the environmental humanities deemed key to the program’s success, Payne has regularly hosted internationally acclaimed environmental writers on SUNY Oneonta’s campus to engage and inspire students. As director of the John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference, for the past 15 years, Payne has created a unique and extraordinary opportunity for students from various disciplines to interact with international experts in the field of environmental literature.